TUESDAY OF THE TWENTY-SEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
Psalm 130:1-4ab, 7-8
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. It is he who will redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
When we hear the Lord’s words to Martha, "Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her, we get a strong sense that Mary has certain rights all because she sat at the Lord’s feet and listened.
Martha felt that she had the right to make her sister do what she wanted her to do. But the Lord affirmed Mary’s choice.
We need to sit with the Lord and listen to him regularly. On some days, we feel seriously desperate to pray and hear a word from the Lord. Other days we feel too busy with other things. These may even be important things but nothing is going to be more important and more protected, than sitting with the Lord. Jesus wants us to listen before we even serve him.
The reading in Jonah highlights the effects of listening to God even before serving him. The repentance of the Ninevites took place after they heard the word of the Lord through Jonah. God was so pleased with their reaction that he repented of bringing destruction upon them. They hadn't done one thing to serve him yet God spared them.
Today, spend time with the Lord, listening, before you dive into any projects or activities, know that it is the best thing you can do, and God will protect it.